David McAlinden’s short-term playing spell in Carrick Rangers colours will live long within the memory of the Amber Army support.
The images of McAlinden holding aloft the Championship trophy and Intermediate Cup across the 2010/11 season stand as some of the most celebrated moments in the club’s modern history.
Now back but in the manager’s dug-out of a club he represented 57 times as a player, McAlinden is keen to build a long-term legacy.
“You have to get the structures in place and we want to build the club at all levels,” said McAlinden. “There is no such thing as a quick fix and you cannot firefight year in, year out.
“We have added players but also made changes to the coaching teams across the board.
“Coming into the club so recently means we have had to act quickly but nothing has felt rushed and everyone involved can bring something to the table.
“We have signed good players but, importantly, good people who should have the mental strength to deal with whatever we will face.
“You are always watching games and trying to identify talent, plus you speak to contacts in the game and everything goes into the proces.
“Whatever research you do, it still comes down to that face-to-face meeting with a player and, at times, we have walked away after those conversations feeling the target may not actually be the type we want for our goals.
“I have had wonderful support from people around the club since coming on board in May and we understand what is in front of us but aim to hit our targets and even go beyond.”